Wirecard: a parliamentarian’s insistence on the personal testimony of Ex-chief Markus Braun

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Emma Teitel
Emma Teitel
Emma Teitel is an award-winning national affairs columnist with the Toronto Star who writes about anything and everything. She got her start at Maclean's Magazine where she wrote frequently about women's issues, LGBT rights, and popular culture.

It would be a spectacular appearance, it is so in the history of the Bundestag has not yet given: Three remand prisoners testify before a parliamentary Committee of inquiry. And in probably the biggest financial scandal of the Federal Republic of Germany: the collapse of the financial service provider Wirecard. On Thursday the Ex-CEO Markus Braun, as well as the former Manager Stephan Freiherr von Erffa and Oliver bell house in front of the Parliament Committee to testify.

But the summons of the three Detainees, it is likely to give rise to a legal tug-of-war. Because the lawyers in brown to reject a personal appearance of their clients in Berlin. Brown needed to be out of the prison of stadelheim prison to be transported to the capital. For the case of a compulsory screening brown have announced defender Alfred Dierlamm, “to court” approach, as he writes in a letter to the Secretariat of the Committee of inquiry, before the MIRROR. His client but to make a video statement.

The imprisoned Wirecard-in-chief is afraid of Corona

However, in contrast, is a resistance among the members of the Committee, headed by the three Leaders of the Greens, Left and FDP. You keep in mind that “a hearing in the presence of witnesses in the courtroom was necessary,” said the three parliamentarians write to the other members in the body. You want to make the Argument of the brown-lawyers do not apply the lead to a high Corona-the risk of infection for your client, as well as the high cost of transportation to the field.

At the statement of Financial Times-journalist Dan McCrum last week, which arrived from London, had been made a corresponding agreement with the Berlin Senate. A personal appearance is important “in particular for the assessment of the credibility of a witness”. It is more a matter of “whose entire conduct, including his body language,” that the Committee “wants to make an immediate impression”, the MEPs Fabio de Masi (Left), Florian Toncar (FDP) and Danyal Bayaz (Green) letter.

The three opposition politicians believed that “this will be seen by the other groups to continue to do so”. At the request of the MIRROR, a spokesman of the SPD confirmed that there was “a inter-group consensus” that the witnesses to personally testify. “The Committee Secretariat is preparing accordingly,” the SPD speaker. Thus, it is likely to run on a dispute, you will probably not be decided before Thursday.

Also, the Prosecutor’s office has concerns

Resistance against a personal appearance, the Prosecutor’s office in Munich, which is responsible for the investigation procedures responsible makes. She leads in addition to the Corona pandemic, apparently, as a further Argument, the concern, the three Wirecard Detainees could meet and make arrangements. The MPs argue: “The German Bundestag should have the opportunity to ensure that the three witnesses 19. November not to each other meet.”

The interest of the parliamentarians, there is no doubt about it, however, is entitled. Because of the insolvency of the Wirecard group also raises critical questions to the policy. Since it is on the one hand, the supervision by subordinate authorities of the Federal Finance and economy Ministry. Above all, the Opposition is interested in the role of the SPD Vice-Chancellor and Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz.

Add to that the secret service entanglements of the group and its management Board member Jan Marsalek, which was probably for the Austrian secret service, and dubious activities in Libya, investigated could be. In addition, the Federal government, and, above all, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for Wirecard. In the autumn of 2019, as already accusations of financial manipulation at Wirecard had become loud, lobbyierte Merkel during a visit to Beijing for the Chinese government to enter the market by the financial service provider in China. Had threaded this Ex-defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

Opposition politicians foaming

All three loaded Wirecard-people don’t want to make of your statement right to refuse to use to incriminate yourself, announced to you in writing. The FDP Chairman Toncar irritated by this announcement, because you don’t know yet the questions of the deputies. “For us, it goes to the Committee, especially to the political process and not, as before the court the question of guilt in the criminal sense,” said the Liberal to the MIRROR.

Be Left, to which Mr De Masi wants to take brown on each case personally in the defect, and threatens: “may be taken of witnesses also to cross-examine, if they contradict each other.” The Green-Chairman Bayaz appealed to the public Prosecutor and the defenders to end their resistance. Of course, the safety had to be ensured during Transport and on site. “But to me has, as yet, no one explains convincingly why this should not be possible,” he said to the MIRROR.

Icon: The Mirror

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